I'm a planner. I like - need - to know what I'm getting myself into. That's why when I entered college, I already had everything all mapped out, and most of that was carefully structured around the fact that I was going to be a Human Biology major.
Then I did a complete 180 and decided to be an English major instead.
Changing my major was not a spur of the moment decision. It was actually months in the making, and it was a process riddled with doubt, anxiety, and, eventually, excitement.
I have always preferred English and history classes to math and science classes. Always. Math and science are not my strong suits whatsoever. Science I can get through, but it can be challenging. Math is next to impossible. But English in particular is something I've always flourished in. Reading has been my favorite pastime since the moment I learned to read. Ever since I was in elementary school, I dreamed of being a journalist, reporter, or an author.
Maybe I was supposed to be on the English-geared path all along. But life, of course, had other ideas, and I went on a detour.
The only reason why I wanted to major in Human Biology was because I was set on becoming a Registered Dietitian. I started to become passionate about this career path during my Junior year of high school, which just so happened to be about the time I got serious about eating “healthy” and began exercising frequently. I did all the research on being a dietitian and it felt right to me. Once I got accepted into UWGB, my focus was solely fixated on the Human Biology program.
And then I failed my math class my first semester of college.
As mentioned before, I am a total moron when it comes to math. Always have been. Always will. I'm pretty hopeless. So even though I studied extremely hard, I still ended up epically failing my first college math class, which I must admit, took some bounce out of my step. That's an understatement - I was completely devastated. Not only did I earn that ugly F right out of the gate, but it also made me question the path I was headed towards. A road that would be hard and challenging, and in a way I didn’t think I was going to gain any type of satisfaction from.
It was overwhelming. But I trudged along. I passed my math class next semester, thanks to having a genius roommate who was kind enough to tutor me.
But at this point, I had to ask myself an important question: Was it worth it? Did I want to force my way through four years of material that I'm not wholly interested in and that would most likely tarnish my grade point average as well as my sanity for a job that I now wasn't even certain I would enjoy?
I asked myself that question almost everyday for about two months. Usually late at night, when insecurities start to fester. Thinking ahead to the rest of my college career didn't make me feel excited - it made me feel anxious. And there was a little voice inside my head telling me that if I switched my major, I was giving up. I was a failure. The going got tough and I just ran away. I felt immensely conflicted, and therefore trapped between two futures. One where I was dietician, and one where I was not.
Then, one random afternoon at the school library, I did it. I changed my major to English.
Of course, doubt started to nibble away at this initial excitement. An English major is a joke, it snarled. You will never find a job with that. Frightening images of getting into heaps of student debt for a job of serving tables flashed into my mind.
But do I think I made the right decision? Absolutely.
The worst part for me is the feeling that I "wasted" my first year of college taking classes that now "don't even matter." I didn't need to take the math class I failed. I didn't need to take the four biology classes. It hurts, but I have to try to move on and focus on the future, not the past. Also, I do know deep down that it wasn’t squandered time, since in that year, I learned that human biology wasn’t for me, and that alone was an incredibly valuable lesson.When it came to human biology, as pure as I believed my intentions to be, it always felt a bit forced. But now that I'm an English major, I truly feel like I’m becoming who I’m meant to be - a lover of words, an admirer of authors, and a reader of masterpieces.